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Roger Goodell: Officiating has never been better, but will never be perfect

Peter King, Mike Florio and Chris Simms evaluate the pros and cons of full-time officials to weigh if that change would be both sustainable and provide better consistency.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said recently that he thinks the league’s best referees have left the game in order to make more money by working as officiating analysts for the league’s broadcasting partners and that topic came up during NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference in Phoenix on Wednesday.

Goodell was asked if the NFL is paying officials enough and said that the officials that have left for TV jobs have been working in the league office or at the tail end of their careers. He said that he thinks the departures have been “a factor at all” in the quality of officiating, which segued into an answer about whether the league’s training for officials is sufficient.

“When you look at officiating, I don’t think it’s ever been better in the league,” Goodell said. “There are over 42,000 plays in a season and multiple infractions could occur on any play. Take that out, extrapolate that. That’s hundreds, if not millions, of potential fouls. Our officials do an extraordinary job of getting those. Are there mistakes in the context of that? Yes. They are not perfect and officiating never will (be perfect).”

Goodell said that the league hears criticism of officials, but wants to “look at the facts” when it comes to the quality of officiating of the league and that the league will continue to work to get better by holding officials to a high standard.